JAN/FEB 2018» wirelessdesignmag.com 3
Power for Survival
When you think of basic necessities for survival, food, water, and shelter are
what come to mind . However, I propose we add power to that list . Power is
probably one of the things you don’t often think about—until you don’t have
it anymore . There’s nothing like seeing a low power warning on your phone or
having a room go dark in an instant to make your stomach drop and panic set in (even as I’m
writing this, I’m getting anxious at the thought).
Recent events have certainly highlighted our reliance on power. The Consumer Electronics
Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada is typically an event that showcases the most innovative
tech gear on and coming soon to the market . However, the iconic high-tech show was
ironically left in the dark for more than two hours on its first day. Heavy rains and flooding
were responsible for the blackout, but several vendors (except those with gadgets running on
batteries) saw the foot traffic to their booths disappear. We also witnessed the devastation
of the 2017 hurricane season that left thousands of people without power for months, with
many still dealing with the aftermath .
However, power encompasses more than just an electrical grid . In terms of devices, it often
refers to improving performance . Fortunately, manufacturers are constantly developing new
technologies to improve power and performance of our much-needed gadgets . For instance,
Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductors are making waves in the market for their ability to
deliver increased voltage to a variety of devices .
Power is also the concentration of this issue with our issue focus on p . 4 “Reducing
Smartphone Battery Size and Improving Power Delivery Performance with Parallel
Supercapacitors,” by Eric DeRose from AVX Corporation, which explores methods of
improving smartphone battery performance and reliability. Digital transmission signals that
provide smartphones with most of their abilities also take a toll on battery life . This article
examines the use of supercapacitors as a way to mitigate the signal’s effect .
Our technology features begin on p. 8, and include “Why Nickel-Cadmium for the Telecom
Industry?” by Rodolphe Boulais and Stuart Lansburg from Saft, which centers around the low
maintenance properties of Nickel-Cadmium batteries and their ability to maintain long-term
performance in harsh environments. “Gallium Nitride Takes on Low-Noise Amplifiers, RF
Mixers, Switches, and Front-End Modules,” by Jean-Jacques DeLisle on p . 10 discusses the
potential of GaN semiconductors for a variety of commercial components .
Though power isn’t technically a basic necessity, technology is making strides to assure that
our sources provide optimal functionality, so with any luck we won’t have to experiences many
moments without its presense .
UP FRONT »BY JENNIFER HOOKER »EDITOR-IN-CHIEF